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DEQ Is "Looking At" Bonding Rules For Coal Mine Reclamation

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

As coal companies struggle to remain afloat, Wyoming regulators are reviewing the state’s rules for how companies put money aside for clean-up. 

According to Todd Parfitt, Director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, state rules are now under scrutiny, in part, because of recent problems with self-bonding. Self-bonding gives companies a pass on putting money aside for coal mine reclamation if they can prove they are financially healthy. But this year, DEQ had to notify both Rocky Mountain Coal and Alpha Natural Resources that they no longer met the financial requirements to self-bond.  

“I think it is probably a fair statement to say, we are looking internally at the regulations- the rules around self bonding- and whether or not we need to make changes and if we need to make changes what would those be,” Parfitt said.

Parfitt wouldn't comment on any specific aspects of the program that are under scrutiny, but said DEQ is considering feedback from the public, industry, and federal regulators, as well as from other states. Wyoming has around $3 billion in outstanding coal mine reclamation costs, over $2 billion of that is self-bonded.  


Email: lpaterson@insideenergy.org; leighpaterson@rmpbs.org
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